A nutraceutical or 'bioceutical' is a pharmaceutical alternative which claims physiological benefits. In the US, "nutraceuticals" are largely unregulated, as they exist in the same category as dietary supplements and food additives by the FDA, under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.Functional foods are fortified or enriched during processing and then marketed as providing some benefit to consumers. Sometimes, additional complementary nutrients are added, such as vitamin D to milk.
Health Canada defines functional foods as ordinary food that has components or ingredients added to give it a specific medical or physiological benefit, other than a purely nutritional effect. In Japan, all functional foods must meet three established requirements: foods should be present in their naturally occurring form, rather than a capsule, tablet, or powder; consumed in the diet as often as daily; and should regulate a biological process in hopes of preventing or controlling disease.